Inspired by my regular routine of watching Pride and Prejudice whilst (yes, whilst) getting projects done at night, I remixed the Party Dress pattern to elude a sense of Jane Austen’s time, which meant including sleeves, an empire-waist bodice with gathered overlay, a more petite sash with floral embellishments, and layers upon layers of chiffon skirts. This dress is definitely Prim and Preciousness!
My favorite outfit of Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightley version) is the dress Jane wears to the ball at Netherfield, so I had to replicate it with my own gathered bodice and delicate, petite sleeves! My proudest accomplishment on this dress (aside from getting the gathered bodice just the way I wanted) was getting the sleeves sewn in to the bodice so none of the seam allowance would show from the inside, or the outside since chiffon is see-through. It took some work and finagling but in the end, SO worth the final look. I used a rolled hem foot for the little sleeve hems, and sewed in one row with elastic thread in the bobbin to create the gathered look. The focal fabric flowers were made from leftover scraps and sparkly buttons- perfectly precious in every way.
Regardless of the time period, every little girl loves a surprise- especially when the surprise is a hot pink underskirt! This dress features SEVEN layers of skirt: three of pink chiffon which hang longer than the rest, two of hot pink chiffon, and two separate linings. That is a lot of narrow hems sewn!! My daughter is always wiggling around, so I knew the hot pink under layers would be seen simply by her moving around.
The crepe-backed satin sash ties neatly in the back (it is even, I just did a poor tying job!) over an invisible zipper, which I opted for instead of the original Party Dress buttons because of the delicate nature of the chiffon. Even the most prim of girls will want to kick her legs up with a book and show off a little hot pink sassiness underneath! Her book, Crafty Chloe, is a story about a little girl who loves creating things, and when she can’t find a suitable birthday gift for her friend and the store, she ends up making… a doll dress! I love making my girls their dresses, so it was too good of a story to pass up for this photo shoot :)
Overall, this dress was exactly as I hoped it would be, and more! Chiffon is one of my favorite textiles, and so many layers and in such a delicate pink was a beautiful use of it. My daughter has already worn it to church, and of course, got crayon all over it. It washed right off, thank goodness! For fabrics like chiffon, just wash on the Gentle cycle, and tumble dry on low heat.
There you go! Week one of Project Run and Play! I am so proud of this dress, and love it more and more every time I see it. Head on over and cast your vote on your favorite Remix. I am lucky to be included with all the other talented designers!
**** Special thanks to my cousin Kendyl Hawkins for helping me with these photos! All I asked for was some props… and she ended up doing the whole thing ha ha! She is an awesome local photographer, if anyone needs anything!